The Great Stewardess Rebellion: How Women Launched a Workplace Revolution at 30,000 Feet

Cover of The Great Stewardess Rebellion by Nell McShane Wulfhart
Nell McShane Wulfhart
Star Rating
Reviewer's Rating
Apr 19, 2022

Hello and welcome to #NewTitleTuesday, where we take a quick look at a new release that hits the publishing world this week. Today we're looking at an inspiring true story of a group of women who defied convention, overcame stereotypes, and fought for fairness in the workplace during a time of massive cultural shift. In THE GREAT STEWARDESS REBELLION: HOW WOMEN LAUNCHED A WORKPLACE REVOLUTION AT 30,000 FEET Nell McShane Wulfhart tells a timely and absorbing story of how a profession, belittled and sexualized, became an important labor movement.

Picture the stereotype of the stewardess at the height of the glamor of airline flight in the 1960s: young, beautiful, immaculately put together. That stereotype was rigidly enforced by the powers that be in the airline industry. Stewardesses were required to be unmarried, under 125 pounds, under the age of 35, and wear girdles and false eyelashes, among many other restrictions. Yet, at the same time, working as a stewardess represented a unique job opportunity that allowed women in the workplace to be something other than a mother, teacher, a nurse, or a secretary. This profession represented freedom and adventure for so many. The women who accepted these jobs were often fierce, smart, and driven, and fought against these restrictions. Wulfhart tells the stories of these fierce women, focusing on not only the larger battles with the airlines and unions but leaving plenty of room for their personal narratives of several, and we get to know them as people. 

Wulfhart tells a story that is both informative and entertaining, with the subject matter an important one for labor rights and one that has a deep cultural connection to a certain image, time, and place. For the casual reader and for one who's looking for a meatier topic, this book will be a delight, and one that I anticipate book clubs will be interested in as well. 

Thanks for reading, and we'll see you next week!

Written by Gregg W.

I have surprisingly strong opinions about comic book characters.